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Can anyone stop the Disney synergy train?

Probably not

two cropped covers for X-Men and Alien vs The Avengers
Image credit: Disney

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You heard right - legendary comics creators Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribić have a new project, and it's Aliens vs. Avengers. Sigh.

Perhaps I'm being cynical. Maybe this is a passion project. Or maybe, both Hickman and Ribić think it's just a cool project to work on (hey, I like Aliens and the Avengers too). But, in this moment when superhero comics seem to lack a bit of their usual luster and we've been forced to look at these fairly horrendous Disney character/Marvel classic cover crossovers month after month, it all just feels a little exhausting at this point.

Now, I don't want to be a total hypocrite, because like most comics fans, I have been hoping for more synergy from these big companies for years. It seems silly that The Marvels would hit theaters and there wont be direct promotion for the very successful Captain Marvel and Ms. Marvel comics. Or that, say, a Morbius comic that is meant to be a primer for newcomers hits shelves an entire year before the (to be fair, delayed) film comes out. Synergy can be good, could be great for comics, actually.

But the monkey paw curls, and and we get Donald Duck as Cyclops.

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Maybe I'm wrong (I have been wrong before), and Aliens vs. Avengers is gonna be incredible instead of a struggling publisher's attempt to capitalize on the buzz from an upcoming movie by shoehorning it into Something, Anything At All. I'll likely be checking out that first issue, as I truly love Hickman and Ribić's work (and I do genuinely think Aliens and The Avengers are cool). But as Marvel has turned out fairly mediocre crossovers and events over and over the past couple of years, it's hard to get excited for something that might, if we weren't burned out on all this stuff, genuinely be exciting.

On the other hand, maybe the thing to worry about isn't the sameness of it all, but the very real issue that Disney now owns a shocking amount of the film and television and comic industries, and that this synergy we're seeing more and more of is a visual signifier that near everything you know and love has been consolidated by a single corporation.

But maybe I'm just being cynical.

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